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Lab Lit: Fact, Fiction, and the Narratives of Science

Semester and Year SP 2016
Course Number IDSEM-UG1769
Section 001
Instructor Anne DeWitt
Days TR
Time 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   HUM



The past two decades have seen the publication of a surprising number of novels that center on science and scientific work. In this course, we take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding this new genre: at times, we’ll use a literary studies perspective, asking how such novels create fictional drama and narrative suspense out of scientific work. We’ll also draw on research in the history and sociology of science that examines the construction of scientific identity and the dynamics of the scientific community, as we look at how these novels represent scientists and the scientific world. And we’ll turn to feminist critiques of science and work in science studies that interrogates the very nature of scientific research and thinking. Readings may include Allegra Goodman’s Intuition, Alan Lightman’s Einstein’s Dreams, Max Weber’s “Science as a Vocation,” Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar’s Laboratory Life, and essays by Evelyn Fox Keller and Sandra Hrdy. Students will explore these texts through seminar-style discussions, brief blogging assignments, a short essay, and a final research paper.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)